I have not been able to breathe through my nose for at least six days. I wake myself up coughing and prevent myself from falling asleep the same way. I blow my nose and wash my hands so many times a day that I had to put vats of hand lotion by all of the sinks (but I bought scented lotion and it makes me sneeze, and all of the things start over again). I am basically only drinking coffee for its throat-soothing properties and have added tea to my nightly routine. I THINK I HAVE A MAN COLD. SEND HELP. I need to take to my bed for at least a week.
But! Instead! We had pumpkins to carve.
I dreaded the thought of scooping out guts because this was pre-lotion-by-the-sink, and I didn't want to have to keep washing my bleeding hands. This dread colored and organized the whole experience for me and made it the neatest, most efficient pumpkin scraping ever.
First, I confirmed that none of the kids wanted anything to do with pumpkin guts: check, check, check, check (even though Harry has a scooper with his literal name on it-- like, taped on it?? whyyyyy?) Then, I assembled my supplies: 5 pumpkins, freshly washed, a bunch of trash bags to cover the kitchen island, the garbage can, some knives and spoons, a colander for seeds, a couple of dishtowels for my hands, a big apron. Finally, I basically ignored everything else in the whole house and just assembly lined the pumpkins: lids cut, guts scraped, seeds salvaged. 5 times in a row. No extra hand washing needed.
Harry and Jack went downstairs to skulk (I assume-- this is pretty much what they do all of the time), and Dorothy and Cooper had a charming and delightful tea party for Dorothy's dolls with Goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, and water. They were so excited to get all of the supplies and handle all of their own spill and refills that a new era of independence has dawned.
By the time Ben got home with pizzas, all of the pumpkins were ready to go, and some seeds were roasting in the oven (with Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel spice-- a huge YES). We ate pizza and then Ben and the kids carved pumpkins while I cleaned the kitchen. NO MESS. NO FUSS. decorative gourd season achievement unlocked.
MOVIE NIGHT. Bam. Could there be a more wholesome family fall fun night ever? NOT POSSIBLE.